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Damsels in Distress: A Claire Malloy Mystery [Hardcover]

Joan Hess

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Book Description

April 3 2007 Claire Malloy Mysteries (Book 16)
A Renaissance Fair is coming to the relatively quiet college town of Farberville Arkansas, which is not the sort of news that usually sets local bookseller Claire Malloy's heart racing.  But with Caron, Claire's perpetually petulant teenage daughter, being pulled into volunteering (or face the horror of doing homework over the summer) and her fiancé, Police Lieutenant Peter Rosen, away, Claire finds herself drawn into the strange inner workings of the group putting on the fair.
     But just as Claire has decided that her time might be better spent fretting over the details of her upcoming nuptials, one of the volunteers helping with the Ren Fair falls victim to arson, her body found burned in the wreckage of her rented home. Even stranger, none of the members of the local chapter of The Association for Renaissance Scholarship and Enlightenment (ARSE) - the group putting on Farberville's first RenFair - had ever met the woman in the flesh and can't provide any information about who she is and where she came from.  However, someone is definitely dead and the fire looks very suspicious - but is it murder?  When the fair opens, tensions expose the dark secrets and malevolent schemes that lurk beneath the superficial congeniality of the ARSE members.  The lords are leaping, the ladies are lying, and the knights are fighting--while someone is committing murder most heinous.  And with Claire's dreams of a blissful wedding hanging in the balance, she has no choice left but to fling herself into the battle and match wits with the killer…

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (April 3 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312315015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312315016
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,081,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In bookseller Claire Malloy's sprightly 16th outing (after 2006's The Goodbye Body), a Renaissance fair descends on Farberville, Ark. Claire, nervously contemplating her imminent marriage to police detective Peter Rosen, finds plenty of distraction when Edward Cobbinwood, a member of the Renaissance fair group, confides that he has come to Farberville in search of his long-lost father. Fearing that her late, unlamented husband, Carlton, was Edward's father, Claire spends time with the fair's organizers, hoping to discover the truth. A house fire claims the life of a mysterious woman named Angie, and the subsequent murder of a talented artist complicates everything. Nimbly sidestepping official attempts to keep her out of the case, Claire, as always, fingers the culprit, this time in a denouement worthy of Dame Agatha herself. Though this installment isn't up to the high standard of The Goodbye Body, Hess fans will find much to entertain them while eagerly anticipating Claire's wedded bliss in upcoming episodes. Author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Arkansas bookseller Claire Molloy, who spends as much time solving crimes as she does selling books, finds herself in yet another tricky predicament. The organizers of a renaissance fair have enlisted Claire's help, but that's before she stumbles on a dead body, burned beyond recognition. It's hard to concentrate on fairs when you're trying to identify a dead woman and determine if she was murdered. The Molloy novels are plain Janes compared to the flamboyant plots and homespun humor in Hess' other series, starring Sheriff Arly Hanks. But for those who prefer the comforts of formula and a just-plain-nice heroine, Claire Malloy does just fine. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does Claire Malloy Like Anybody or Anything? May 16 2008
By A. Bramwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think Claire Malloy needs to seek professional help. For some reason, she seems to think she is superior to everyone she meets. She doesn't even like her daughter or her fiance Peter Rosen, with whom there is no chemistry. I won't even go into the silly plot or the contrived conclusion. This series ran out of steam a couple of books ago.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing read June 10 2007
By ernie*s mom - Published on Amazon.com
I really had to work to stay with this to the end, and wasn't worth my time. The renaissance stuff was tedious, a really disappointing read.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars don't like renaissance fairs May 9 2007
By Pat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I disliked this book. I don't like Renaissance fairs as it is, and I far prefer Hess's Maggody books to the Claire Molloy stories. This book had conversations that went on way too long with the "thee" and "thou" Renaissance speech that I find tedious. She also tossed in some quotes that seemed unnecessary and self-serving. Sure showed me that I know nothing of literature. I think I've bought all of Hess's books. From the beginning I observed that Hess's phrasing is so trite, it's almost high school quality. (No offense to articulate high schoolers.)

I do enjoy the interaction between mother and daughter, which is probably why I still buy her Molloy stories.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You're not in Maggody anymore Dec 12 2010
By K. Flagg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm sure there must be one comparison like this for every one of the CM mysteries, but wow this was weak. I didn't give it 1 star because Eileen & Earl from Maggody show up in this book for a cameo and was the only highlight of the book for me. I'm going to guess that CM fans don't see the Maggody fuss either (sort of the Mr. Bean fans Vs. The Black Adder fans). I tried years ago reading Malloy mystery and couldn't finish it (the kid was "So Annoying" I couldn't care) but as I've read all of the Maggody mysteries to date I thought I would give CM another try. Disappointing
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get an editor March 12 2012
By RDC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was really disappointed in this book as I've enjoyed many of the author's other titles. I don't know if all the errors just crept into the Kindle edition but if they were in the print copy that is just sad. The first corpse was referred to equally as "Angie" and "Angle," and twice she refers to people being "coronated." I don't think even those who posseses coronets are coronated, and most people who are elevated to royalty are crowned... This is on top of the myriad typos that I won't bother to list. The story was uninspired, the RenFaire boring, and Claire's betrothed, Peter, needs to either get over his constant disapproval, figure out why he is disapproving (the reason doesn't seem to be concern for her safety caused by her constant snooping but rather the fact that his boss doesn't like it), or get a new girlfriend. The denoument was also pretty disappointing, with Peter playing an incredibly passive role for someone who doesn't want his fiancé involved in his cases. Skip this book and go on to the next which was pretty interesting (especially if you like Egypt).

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